Pinstriping Fan: I am here with Jeff Isbell, aka KONG getting an inside look at the man, the talent and his history. Jeff 'KONG' Isbell, so you live in Chula Vista, California, just south of San Diego, how did you get into the world of pinstriping art?
KONG: I have always loved drawing, doodling, or whatever you want to call it. My mom could draw anything so I probably picked up some of my artistic background from her. In middle school and high school I was always drawing cars in various forms of modifications.
Pinstriping Fan: Where did you get your understanding of art, proportions and the steady hand to stripe so smoothly?
KONG: I majored in Architecture in college and worked for a local contractor for years drawing all the plans for that contractor. I started working for the city of San Diego in 1987 in what use to be the old Building Inspection Dept. Have been with the city ever since.
Pinstriping Fan: What was your first exposure to the art of pinstriping and what ignited your passion?
KONG: I had my first car pinstriped by friend and mentor Jack Williams in San Diego in 1979 and watched him do 3 more cars of mine over the years all the while thinking there is no way I could ever do that. I went to a gun show in 2000 and bought a Beugler pinstriping tool and started practicing. I picked up the brush and started practicing with it because I liked the versatility of the brush compared to the Buegler. And the rest as they say "is history". I have been striping ever since.
Pinstriping Fan: Pinstriping looks easy when I see the artists stripe. Would you consider yourself a natural to the art of pinstriping and does it come easily to you?
KONG: I spend countless hours in my studio practicing the art. You never learn pinstriping, its more like you are always learning the art of pinstriping. To me it is the most awesome art form out there. Once you start pulling those lines it becomes addicting to what you can do with that little brush.
KONG: I have met some awesome artists since getting into pinstriping. Its a great little community of some of the most talented artists with a lifetime of information to share. Inspirations to me are of course Jack Williams, my friend and mentor. If it were not for him I probably never would have started striping. Also good friend Jeff Styles as well as the Arizona guys, Ron Hernandez, Bugs, and the legend, Butch “Butch’r” Tucker, Thanks guys.
Pinstriping Fan Conclusion: With more than 10 years experience, painting endless hours with a pinstripe brush in his hands, Jeff 'KONG' Isbell is tirelessly working to gain the respect and admiration of not only the greats who have come before him but to the many who hope to have his art work on their rides.